The Toy Book Chats with Sherry Gunther-Shugarman, CEO, Popstar Club

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Sherry Gunther-Shugarman, CEO of Popstar Club, which is the manufacturer of the fresh, new doll line, The Beatrix Girls. Sherry gave me an overview of what makes her doll line so unique, and why girls are going to be clamoring for them this holiday season.

SherryGunther.BeatrixCEO

 

Where did you get the idea for Beatrix Girls?

The Beatrix Girls came out of the idea of tying music and dolls together. Ultimately the approach to this was to create a multiplatform brand that really reaches kids everywhere that they are, recognizing that kids are not just watching TV and they’re not just playing with dolls or toys, they’re not just online playing games or being social, they’re doing all of the above. A forward-thinking property really needed to have presence in all of those mediums and to have an integration between all of those formats ingrained in its DNA.

The webisodes are done in a very unique way. How did you come about using that style?

It’s interesting because the natural for me was to go with animation as I spent over 20 years in animation, but there were a lot of things that attracted me to doing it this way, creating webisodes that have the dolls featured interacting in real life. It comes out of the fact that the concept itself has the girls as real. So they’re real and they interact in our world. They’re a real pop star band, we9’re creating real music, not composed music like we would for a toy property or an animated show, but real, credible, pop music written by a platinum-winning writer/producer, mixed by a Grammy-winning engineer, so this is really relevant, today, great music and so we really want to sell them as true pop stars.

Animation oftentimes, especially when doing them based on a product or especially dolls, skews a little bit younger, and we really wanted to have the cool factor and have these be edgier. The medium that we used felt so much more current and fresh and innovative and YouTube generation-like and it felt much more fitting to the brand itself. It gives the dolls the credibility of being real in our world. They have a real human manager, they perform in real venues, so it allows us to play up that real factor for them. And then the scale gives us a lot of humor opportunities for 12-inch dolls interacting in a life-size world.

The really nice side effect that we found is that girls are really responding to the fact that they can relate to the way it was done because it was shot on purpose with hands showing and manipulating the dolls. The idea was that kids could really relate to it and feel like I can do that, I can get four dolls and with my friends create a scene and a scenario.

 

For some reason it reminds me of Mr. Bill, the old SNL skit.

That’s kind of what we were going for. We were going for rather than just sort of just straight, weak, almost too young-skewing animation. We wanted it to be edgier and quirky and fun and hilarious and this medium allowed us to do that, to have that feel to it.

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MGA Entertainment Sues Lady Gaga for $10 Million-Plus

MGA Entertainment filed a suit against Lady Gaga in New York City on Tuesday for more than $10 million, according to the Associated Press. MGA alleges that Gaga improperly backed out of a deal to make a doll in her likeness that would play snippets of her music. The company claims it paid a $1 million advance to Bravado International, the company that handles Gaga’s merchandizing, and spent a mint racing to meet deadlines to ship the dolls this summer. The plan was allegedly derailed when Bravado International refused to allow the dolls to use the singer’s music and attempted to delay sales of the doll until next year.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Rubie’s Wins Awards from Party City

Party City has awarded Rubie’s Costume Company the 2010 Best Breakout License award for its Lady Gaga licensed costumes.

“We are very proud and honored to receive this distinction and thankful to be selected to receive this impressive award from one of the top retailers in the Halloween industry,” said Howard Beige, executive vice president of Rubie’s.

Rubie’s also won the 2010 award for Best Humor Costume, for its Mario costume.

Rubie’s Goes Gaga, Costumes on the Way

    • Rubie’s Costume Company has been awarded the license for Lady Gaga, licensed by Bravado International Group. Lady Gaga, the world famous pop-star and musician, is known for her wild collection of outfits. Her signature styles include the wearing of colorful and blonde wigs of all length and styles and her unique couture costumes.

      Rubie’s is now the worldwide licensee of Lady Gaga Halloween Costumes and Accessories. The announcement was made today by Howard Beige, executive vice president of Rubie’s. “We are extremely excited to put out the only officially licensed Halloween costumes for an amazing talent like Lady GaGa,” said Beige. Rubie’s will be producing these items in its factories around the world to ensure delivery for this Halloween.